DeGette Demands Further Details Regarding Pruitt’s Real Estate Transactions
Denver - Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), the Ranking Democrat on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, today sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt asking him to provide further details regarding his legally dubious real estate dealings with lobbyists while serving as a public official in Oklahoma.
DeGette questioned Administrator Pruitt on these financial transactions during his appearance at a hearing of the Environment Subcommittee on April 26, asking him for details on the means used to purchase a luxury home in Oklahoma City in 2003. Pruitt told DeGette he contributed one sixth the purchase price of the home to the limited liability company, Capitol House L.L.C, that purchased the house from a telecommunications lobbyist
But recent reports from the New York Times reveal he also purchased this home with Justin Whitefield, a registered lobbyist who at the time was seeking business-friendly changes to Oklahoma’s worker’s compensation rules which Pruitt allegedly helped negotiate, a detail he neglected to reveal to DeGette during last week’s testimony.
“Your incomplete testimony leaves key questions unanswered concerning this transaction,” DeGette writes in the letter. “You testified that you paid for one sixth of the purchase price, and according to reports, you purchased the home with Kenneth Wagner, who now serves as a political appointee at EPA and previously served as treasurer of your political action committee, as well as health care executive Jon Jiles. However, the identity of two additional owners remains unknown.“
DeGette goes on to write, “You also apparently failed to disclose your interest in Capitol House in your financial disclosure filings, and in your testimony could not confirm whether you paid taxes on rental income received for a room on the property rented to another Republican lawmaker.”
DeGette is requesting Pruitt respond to her letter with details on the 2003 purchase and 2005 sale of the Oklahoma property, including names of the owners of Capitol House, the names of the individuals who arranged for the purchase of the home and secured the mortgage, documents demonstrating he paid taxes on all rental income he received from the property, and documentation of the proceeds he received from the sale of the property. She also requests an overdue response to a previous letter regarding his leasing of a Washington, DC condo owned by the wife of a lobbyist.
The letter is available here.